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Are cracks showing in Presidency?

The deputy president has come under fire for contradicting Jacob Zuma's statements.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaks at the XIX International Aids Conference held in Washington DC. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's office is adamant that he is still playing a big role in government, four months after losing power in the ANC.

Last week, Motlanthe appeared to contradict comments by President Jacob Zuma about the Central African Republic, leading to questions being raised about his political power and whether he was still close to the president.

Speaking at a summit of the economic community of central African states in Chad earlier this month, Zuma said several countries verbally requested him to resend soldiers to the CAR.

He said the request would be considered when it was formally put and added that it would not be in keeping with his government's policy if it did not comply with such an appeal.

Speaking to Parliament last week, the Deputy President denied reports government was planning to send troops to the CAR.

Motlanthe insisted Zuma followed all the parliamentary procedures before the first ill-fated deployment that ended with South Africa withdrawing its troops after the 13 soldiers were killed.

The Deputy President is the second politician to have come under fire for contradicting the President.

In March, Minister in Presidency Trevor Manuel was also criticised for his comments after he told workers that not everything should be blamed on apartheid.

In December, Motlanthe lost his bid for the ANC leadership and many saw this as his demise as one of the strongest leader.

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